How to Start a Business in the US as a Non-Resident


Starting a new business can be very exciting. However, it can also be very challenging and scary. The US offers a wealth of opportunities for non-residents and for many years has welcomed foreign businesses. The economic and political climate is constantly changing, but that tends to apply wherever you decide to start up. Starting a business in the US is a fairly easy procedure even if you’re a non-resident. There are also ways you can change your residency status and relocate to the US in order to manage your company more effectively. If you’d like to know more keep reading for some useful tips.

Decide on the Corporate Entity

There are basically two types of corporate entity you can open in the US as a foreigner. The first is a Limited Liability Company (LLC). This type of company protects you from personal liability, which means your assets, such as vehicles, house, or personal savings, aren’t at risk if your LLC faces a lawsuit or bankruptcy. Profits and losses can be passed through your personal income without you having to face corporate taxes. The other type is a C-Corp, which is the general recommendation for foreigners. S-Corporations can also be chosen although you would need to be a US citizen or permanent resident.

Applying for Permanent Residency

Running a business while located in another country can be challenging. However, there is an alternative. For Canadians wanting to relocate to the US, it is possible to apply for a visa or permanent residency. Thanks to the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement, for example, citizens of Canada are eligible to live in the US and manage their US business for up to five years at a time. Provided you remain eligible you can renew your status every five years. Another option is to apply for an EB-5 Green Card which means you enjoy all the benefits given to US residents. An Investment Immigration Attorney such as Hirson Immigration will be able to advise you on the requirements.

How to Register Your Business

The actual process differs from state to state and depends on the type of legal entity you are forming. However, there are some basic steps and requirements that apply across the board. First, you have to choose a name for your business, and it has to be unique. You can search the US Patent and Trademark Office database to check whether a name has already been registered. The next step is to complete a certificate of incorporation outlining various details about your company. Filing an incorporation report and paying taxes is the final step before requesting an employer identification number (EIN). This number means you can hire employees, open a bank account and apply for licenses that you need.

If you want to start a business in the US, the procedure is not all that different from starting one in your own country of residence. Once you’re up and running, it’s then possible to look into relocating to the US and living there as long as your business continues to operate.

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23 Nov 2018